From £20,5208
The appeal of the Volvo S60 has increased enormously with the introduction of a 99g/km model
6 February 2014

What is it?

The Volvo S60 D4 is the most frugal yet, and the first Volvo to record emissions below 100g/km. The new D4 is the first S60 to use Volvo’s new family of engines, a clean-sheet design built and designed by Volvo.

In time, Volvo will replace its entire engine line-up with two engines – one petrol and one diesel – with four diesel power outputs ranging from 120 to 230bhp. The 178bhp model tested here will become the third in that range, so despite those 99g/km emissions, it gives a tantalising taste of things to come – not least because the design enables straightforward electrification.

The engine uses the latest fuel-injector technology from Denso, which allows fuel to be injected at 2500 bar rail pressure, some 500-700 bar more than most competitors. Each injector features a sensor, rather than a single sensor shared across all four, and permits more precise injector control. Volvo says it can inject up to nine times per combustion cycle.

Other technologies see a reduction in internal friction, improved thermal management and exhaust gas after treatment.

What's it like?

Excellent. On paper, it renders every other diesel engine in the range redundant. Its 6.9sec 0-62mph time matches the 2.4-litre five-pot-shod D5. Its 74.3mpg official figure on the combined cycle makes it the most frugal in the range.

That not only makes it a superb choice for the private buyer, but an impressive money saver for the company car driver. Choose the entry-level Business Edition model and it’ll cost 20 per cent tax payers £53.99 a month - £35.80 less than a BMW 320d SE.

That new 2.0-litre mill is punchy and offers excellent straight-line performance, especially when you consider those running costs. Those that shed a tear when Volvo announced an end to its five- and six-cylinder engines will be pleasantly surprised to find a distinct lack of four-pot diesel clatter. And there’s a smooth power delivery too.

The steering is accurate and smooth, offering reasonable feedback, and it grips well too. It’s all very Volvo, but little more than that.

But the S60’s trump card, particularly in the Business Edition and SE-spec models with their smaller wheels, is the way it rides. The pliant suspension soaks bumps, and there’s an exceptional level of mechanical refinement meaning the engine note – and wind noise – are both well isolated.

Should I buy one?

Yes. Subjectively and objectively the new D4 DRIVe engine turns the dial on an already appealing compact exec.

It may lack the dynamic finesse of a BMW 3-series or Audi A4, but there’s kudos for not following the Teutonic crowd. And those running costs, particularly for company car drivers, are increasingly difficult to ignore.

Volvo S60 D4 SE Nav

Price £29,395; 0-62mph 6.9sec; Top speed 143mph; Economy 74.3mpg (combined); CO2 99g/km; Kerb weight 1580kg; Engine 4 cyls turbodiesel, 1969cc; Power 178bhp at 4250rpm; Torque 295lb ft at 1750-2500; Gearbox 6-speed manual

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audiolab 7 February 2014

For Fox Terrier

All the details are on the Volvo website......and on paper its not good news ½ second slower to 60, 10g more Co2 and 7mpg less on the combined cycle. Two extra gears should be able to do better, BMW seem to be the masters here, either matching or exceeding the manuals capabilities.

I am sure its a typo/mistake, web also states maximum towing weight as 0Kg for the auto !

Citytiger 7 February 2014

audiolab wrote:All the

audiolab wrote:

All the details are on the Volvo website......and on paper its not good news ½ second slower to 60, 10g more Co2 and 7mpg less on the combined cycle. Two extra gears should be able to do better, BMW seem to be the masters here, either matching or exceeding the manuals capabilities.

I am sure its a typo/mistake, web also states maximum towing weight as 0Kg for the auto !

If you look at Volvos website, where they allow you to compare its rivals (who else does that?), you will see, the difference is even though the automatic is slower, dirtier and heavier on fuel than the manual, its still better than the German equivalents. There is no getting away from it, Volvo have produced a first class engine, and reading the article it appears they have improved the handling and ride quality as well. The only area this S60 trails the German equivalents is in residuals, but when its significantly cheaper to begin with, the losses are actually less.

audiolab 7 February 2014

@citytiger

Thought someone would come back with that as soon as I hit the save button, what I was really trying to say is that just about everyones automatic on diesel, falls well short of the manual. Yet BMW don't. So Volvo....brilliant "first class" engine, poor auto gearbox implementation.

(VAG fit the 7 speed DSG to the 1.6tdi and despite having two extra gears over the manual the final gear is shorter than the 5 speed manual, which just makes no sense at all.)

Citytiger 7 February 2014

audiolab wrote:Thought

audiolab wrote:

Thought someone would come back with that as soon as I hit the save button, what I was really trying to say is that just about everyones automatic on diesel, falls well short of the manual. Yet BMW don't. So Volvo....brilliant "first class" engine, poor auto gearbox implementation.

(VAG fit the 7 speed DSG to the 1.6tdi and despite having two extra gears over the manual the final gear is shorter than the 5 speed manual, which just makes no sense at all.)

How long have BMW been using their engine and gearbox combination?

This is a brand new engine and a brand new gearbox, this is the first time Volvo have ever used an 8 speed box, so actually even though they are not working brilliantly together at the moment, its not a bad first attempt, and is likely to improve once they become more familiar with it, the fact that it already beats the established competition straight out of the box so to speak, only bodes well for the future, and probably has German engineers scurrying around as we speak trying to find an answer.

Also lets not forget, they (Volvo) don't have an unlimited budget like the Germans, however they have also managed to make every version of their new engines compatible with Hybrid and plug in electric technology, again something the rivals haven't, and they still don't have an answer to the V60 D6, which is still using Volvo's old 5 cylinder engine, wait until it gets one of the new ones.

If Jaguar had any sense, they could do a lot worse than teaming up with Volvo to share future small engine design and development, if it was mated to the same 8 speed ZF gearbox that Jaguar and BMW use, it might be a better option than their long awaited Hotfire engines, and save both companies a shed load of money.

gazza5 7 February 2014

.

makes my vauxhall masterfit service seem cheap at £149 for minor and £249 for major.

V impressed with the volvo and am just waiting for these models to be 3 years old before I buy. Always had a soft spot for the S60 (bored of audi bmw and merc) also look forward to the petrol versions to see how they do

John O'Groats 7 February 2014

A mileage mirage

Fuel consumption - 77.3 MPG (combined)?

Sure seems like all the roads must run downhill in Volvo's world.

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